Australia made to wait after rain hampers final session of day four
England 403 & 132-4 (Vince 55) v
Australia 662-9 dec (Smith 239)
Third Test, Perth, day four
After Australia managed to gain a 259 run first innings lead, the bowlers managed to keep down England to 132 for four before wet weather brought a premature end to day four in the third Test in Perth.
Starting the second innings with a huge deficit, England suffered early blow when Josh Hazlewood (2-23) had Mark Stoneman (3) caught behind in the second over.
Despite cracks on the WACA track started to become a factor, James Vince (55) and Alastair Cook (14) struck five boundaries combined between them before Hazlewood pulled out a stunner off his own bowling to add another failure to the former England skipper.
Vince continued to play positively but things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Nathan Lyon (1-28) struck in his first delivery when Joe Root (14) edged one to the slips. At that stage, England were reeling at 60 for three and five overs later a bit of rain interruption led to early tea.
Vince and Dawid Malan (28 not out) played confidently after tea with the former even completing his second Test fifty but was castled by an absolute screamer of a delivery from Mitchell Starc (1-32) that knocked down the off stump after England just reached the 100-run mark.
The heroes of England's first innings heroics Malan and Jonny Bairstow (14 not out) came together for the second time in the game. Malan carry forwarded the momentum from the first innings and even struck four boundaries in the 35th over bowled by Pat Cummins (0-31).
Just as England reached 132 for four after 38.2 overs, rain poured and eventually the officials called off the day's play with 22 overs going unbowled. Australia will have 98 overs on the final day and if they manage to claim a win, they would have reclaimed the Ashes having already won the first two games in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Earlier, Australia started the day with a score of 539 for four but both Steven Smith (239) and Mitchell Marsh (181) hardly contributed on the fourth day with James Anderson (4-116) trapping them both LBW. England had to use a review though to overturn Smith's decision after the ball had hit the crack to deceive the Australian captain.
Things just went for England as an indecision in running led to run out of Starc (1) but Tim Paine (49 not out) and Cummins (41) shared 83 run stand and Australia finally declared the innings with a score of 662 for nine.
© Cricket World 2017